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Enjoying the apple harvest at Mary Arden’s Farm

As we get ready for our Apple Days festival at the farm our thoughts have (unsurprisingly!) turned to cider.

Samantha Gull
Cider Press

On site at Mary Arden's Farm we have a cider mill and press, originally used in a mill in Welford-on-Avon.  Although these date to the nineteenth century, the process of making cider hasn’t changed much since the Tudor period.  The apples were first crushed to a pulp in the circular stone mill.  The pulp was then passed through the screw press and the juice collected and put in barrels to ferment.

However, if you mention cider to one of our Tudor housemaids they would be outraged at the suggestion that such a common drink was made in Palmer’s Farmhouse!  Middle-class households like Palmer’s would choose to brew ale to show they could afford to buy the malted grain needed to brew it.  Cider, on the other hand, could be produced for free using the fruit from apple trees growing in the hedgerows, so it tended to be seen as a ‘lower class’ drink.

Ale was the drink of choice in Adam Palmer's household

Nowadays at the farm we’re much less picky and we’re looking forward to sampling some cider during Apple Days!  We’re also excited about trying out our brand new apple press for the first time.  Make the most of your own surplus apples by turning them into juice using Mary Arden’s press from 12-3pm during our Apple Days event this weekend.  Don’t forget to bring a plastic container for your juice!

Join us for Apple Days at Mary Arden’s Farm on the 24th and 25th September 10am-5pm.